Introducing Phuket Province
The island of Phuket has long been misunderstood. Firstly, the ‘h’ is silent. Ahem. And secondly, Phuket doesn’t feel like an island at all. It’s so huge (the biggest in Thailand) that you rarely get the sense that you’re surrounded by water, which is probably the reason why the ‘Ko’ (meaning ‘island’) was dropped from its name. Dubbed the ‘pearl of the Andaman’ by marketing execs, this is Thailand’s original flavour of tailor-made fun in the sun.
The island’s ‘sin city’ of Patong is the biggest town and busiest beach. It’s the ultimate gong show where podgy beach-aholics sizzle off their hangovers and go-go girls play ping-pong…without paddles. But ultimately the island’s affinity for luxury far outshines its other stereotypes. Jet-setters come through in droves, getting pummelled during swanky spa sessions and swigging sundowners at one of the many fashion-forward nightspots. And you don’t have to be an heiress to tap into Phuket’s trendy to-do list. There’s deep-sea diving, high-end dining, and white beaches that beckon you and your book – whatever your heart desires.
Best places to stay in Phuket Province
Thailand’s islands: where to escape the crowds
Whether it is riding in the back of an open tuk-tuk or racing across the waves in a longtail boat, a journey through Thailand’s islands always feels like a real adventure. Thailand’s beauty is no secret, but there are still a few wonders that remain relatively under wraps.
Need to know
Phuket Province destination guides
Long before tourist T-shirts or flip-flops, Phuket was an island of rubber trees, tin mines and cash-hungry merchants.
Phuket's Vegetarian Festival: a festival of contradictions
It may seem hard to maintain a ritual of cleansing in Phuket, Thailand’s centre of sin and decadence, but once a year it’s easy to join in with the Thais on this nine-day purge, which starts this year on 8 October.
Phuket Half-Day Safari Tour
It's fun for the whole family on this half day combination tour on Phuket island. Admire the unspoiled scenery from the back of an elephant and canoe the calm surrounding waters. Ride a local farmer's cart and inhale fragrant aromas at a Thai cooking demonstration. There is an optional cruise on a junk and a lesson on how to pick coconuts from the trees.
Phuket Fantasea Show and Dinner
Spend an evening at Phuket Fantasea, a theme park and entertainment complex the whole family can enjoy. Buffet dinner is included as you sit back and appreciate a charming traditional show depicting Thailand's rich and exotic heritage.